Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou

Dealing With Depression

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a blog called Quotes And Sayings. All rights reserved worldwide.

One morning in 2011, I went to see a certain psychiatrist in downtown Nairobi accompanied by my father. As we waited to see the psychiatrist in a reception room, I saw a poster glued on a wall. It had several symptoms of mental illness beautifully printed on it. I found the poster so eye-catching that I was tempted to steal it, in those days before the fear of God sank deep in me.

Because I didn't get a chance to steal the poster, I have forgotten most of the symptoms of mental illness that were printed on it. The only one I remember is that if you keep on searching for something repeatedly in one place, that's a symptom of mental illness. I recall that symptom because I have observed it in myself at times.

Over the years since that morning in 2011, I have learnt more about such mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, manic-depressive disorder and depression. Today, allow me to talk about depression whose symptoms include:
  • Oversleeping in the morning
  • Loss of interest in life and in hobbies
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Carelessness
  • Failing to observe hygiene
  • Excessive guilt
Now, depression is an illness we all suffer from once in a while as we journey through this crazy adventure called life. Even the rich and famous go through depression. Examples of prominent people who have been bold enough to confess being depressed are Abraham Lincoln and Tipper Gore (wife of former U.S. Vice-president Al Gore). Lincoln is quoted to have said during one of his depressive moments, "If my misery would be shared with everybody in the world, there would not be a single happy soul on Earth."

Personally, I have had my own share of struggle with depression. There are some days I have found it difficult to get out of bed in the morning even after having been asleep for more than eight hours. I have also at times lost interest in such hobbies of mine as reading, writing and playing the piano.

While most of us suffer from depression once in a while, for some, depression can hit them so severely that they contemplate suicide. It can be that serious.

You may ask: what causes depression? It is triggered by such setbacks as theft, divorce, conflicts, criticism, rejection, career failures, loss of a loved one or break-up with girlfriend/boyfriend. I understand depression can also be an inherited trait.

Now that I have mentioned the symptoms of depression and its causes, what now remains is for me to discuss how we can deal with depression and overcome it. Here are my suggestions on how we can achieve that:
  1. Finding something we enjoy doing and doing it regularly: It could be writing, singing, designing websites or playing a musical instrument.
  2. Doing physical exercises: Such exercises as walking, jogging, cycling or playing ball games improve mood and outlook. So if you are depressed, I advise you to go out there and do some physical exercises instead of sitting indoors bemoaning your fate.
  3. Laughing: We should use the power of laughter to kill the demons of depression. So we ought to laugh at old jokes and try to look at the sunny side of everything.
  4. Talking to a friend: Sometimes depression can overwhelm us so much that we can't muster the will to laugh, engage in a hobby or do some physical exercises. When that happens, we can talk to a close friend about our feelings. It could cheer us up.
  5. Praying: We can also pray to God when depressed and share with Him our sorrows. That could alleviate our depression because as I heard my friend Peter Daniel say, depression is the scientific name for demonic oppression.
  6. Consulting a doctor: If depression persists even after taking the above steps, then maybe we can humble ourselves and see a doctor (a psychiatrist to be precise) who will counsel us and give us medication to ease depression.
Before I finish, let me advise you not to criticize a family member who is oversleeping or slack in work because of depression. Understand that he is mentally ill and try to lift his spirits. Criticism will only worsen his depression. That's all I am saying.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on depression, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "How to Get Your Mojo Back". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Part 2: High School Memories

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On the front in this photo are my high school classmates (from left) Eric Chebet, Stephen Okoth and Lenai Kamario. The photo was taken in 2002 when we were in Form 1 during a trip to the world-famous Nairobi National Park.

My high school classmates were very bright boys back in 2002 when we were in Form 1. I remember hearing one of them discuss about a Swahili novel entitled "Kisima cha Giningi" that we were studying in class in 2002. And from the way he was talking excitedly about the novel, I could tell he was finding it interesting. But imagine I wasn't understanding anything in that novel. Poor me!

So bright were my classmates that I had to read a lot to catch up with their brilliant minds, often waking up as early as 5.00 a.m. to do some private reading while most students were asleep. But even with my heavy reading, I still ranked in the bottom ten of my class during our Form 1 year.

Since most of my classmates were too bright to defeat academically, I resorted to cheating during some tests. This is what I would do: If, for instance, we were having a biology test, I would put an atlas on my desk and the teacher distributing test papers would think there was nothing wrong with me placing a biology test paper on an atlas as the two are unrelated. Then during the test, I would put my answer sheet in between two pages in the atlas and raise one end of the atlas in such a way that the teacher supervising us would think I was doing so to prevent my deskmate from peeking at my answers. But guess what! In between some pages in the atlas were bits of paper in which I had written biology notes for referring to during the test.

Fortunately for me, I was never caught cheating, even by Fr. Joseph Carriere - an austere Canadian priest who sometimes strolled from class to class to apprehend exam cheaters. Looking back though, I think engaging in such cheating probably confused me, for I had to be cautious not to be apprehended. Little wonder that it didn't help me fare well in my Form 1 tests.

Another form of cheating I tried in Form 1 was during English lessons that we were taught by an American named Mrs. Susan Moore. Well, I noted that whenever we read a passage in a textbook called "Integrated English", Mrs. Moore would ask us to write down the meanings of vocabularies in the passages. She would then mark our answers and record our scores as part of continuous assessment tests.

So when we broke for one half-term holiday in 2002, I picked a dictionary and found out the meanings of all the vocabularies in the passages we hadn't yet read in the English textbook. I wrote the meanings in small bits of papers which I glued next to the relevant passages. But guess what again! When we reported back to school after that half-term holiday, Mrs. Moore never asked us again to write down the meanings of vocabularies in passages in the "Integrated English" textbook. And I surmise she refrained from doing so after observing what I had done.

As bright as my high school classmates were, I always felt our class had only one true genius. That was George Yuka.

Unlike other top students in my class who excelled by virtue of consistent hard work, Yuka aced his exams out of natural brilliance. His main weakness was slovenliness. If he had combined his natural brilliance with disciplined study habits, he would have been an academic whizz-kid.

Once when we were sitting for an end-of-year maths exam in Form 1, Fr. Joseph Carriere entered our class and angrily accused Yuka of cheating. He really disturbed him. And probably as a result of that disturbance, Yuka only managed to score a 63% in the maths paper. Had he scored at least an 80% in the paper as other top students were scoring, he would have emerged number one in that end-of-year exams.

I will always remember Yuka for an initiative he took in one class baraza we held in Form 2, two days before we broke for long holidays. During that baraza, he stood in front of our class and started describing each of my classmates. Because people at Starehe used to comment on how mentally mixed-up I was, I feared that Yuka would hurt my feelings by telling my classmates I was always confused. Happily, he said something positive about me, though I can't recall what it was that he said. That was very wise of him.

As our high school years rolled by, I bobbed up in academic rankings of my class. By the time we were in Form 4 in 2005, I was appearing among the top six in my class. I don't know if that happened because I grew brighter or my classmates became dumber. All I know is that I never did any kind of cheating in exams during my fourth-form year. Also unlike in Form 1 when I used to get out of bed as early as 5.00 a.m. to do private reading, I never woke up before 6.00 a.m. in my entire fourth-form year.

In the last term of our years in high school, I had the opportunity to interact with some of my classmates when we frequently met in what we used to call the German Room where I enjoyed playing chess with George Yuka. One Sunday afternoon while we were in the German Room, Yuka shared with me a joke about a certain man who sold groundnut near the gates of our school. That joke set me laughing. It really was funny. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to retell the joke.

When we were sitting for KCSE exams, Yuka regularly complained about the exams as we swapped stories in the German Room. His complaints made me believe that I would trounce him in the exams for the first and last time in our high school career. But alas! When KCSE results were released a few months later in 2006, he ranked ahead of me in the list of top 100 students in my province that was published in the newspapers. He scored an 'A' of 84 points while I got an 'A' of 82 points.

All in all, my high school classmates were bright fellows. That's why I opined to my high school deskmate Martin Wamoni earlier in this decade that if our class had been a school, we would have emerged tops in the country in 2005 KCSE exams. We truly were bright fellows, I included!

RECOMMENDATION: If you have enjoyed the above part 2 of my high school memories, you might also enjoy "Part 1: High School Memories". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"

The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.

Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.

Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."


The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)